Do you have to replace your air conditioner before summer starts?
Maybe something came up during preventative maintenance… Maybe your bills have skyrocketed… Maybe you turned on the system only to find it blowing HOT air… Whatever the reason, replacing an air conditioner is an important investment.
The air conditioner you choose today is going to be with you for the next 10-15 years (on average). Because HVAC equipment is such an infrequent purchase, homeowners may feel lost when they embark on the purchasing journey.
Here are some things to help you through the buying process.
Everything rests on the shoulders of the contractor you choose… so choose well. Often, the efficiency and performance of your air conditioner is determined by the quality of the install. The average “Joe” is not going to be able to effectively install your air conditioner. Make sure the contractor you choose comes out to your home BEFORE giving you a quote – no pricing on the back of a business card or over the phone. Make sure they ask a lot of questions. After all, how are they going to know what you want if they don’t ask? Lastly, make sure they are up-to-date on training, licenses and permits. You want the job done right the first time. If you think hiring a qualified contractor is expensive, just see how much is costs to hire one who cuts corners.
Explore your efficiency options. A good rule-of-thumb is to invest in the most efficiency you can afford. Luckily, air conditioners come in a range of efficiencies that can fit any budget or need. A more efficient unit is going to be more expensive up front, but it may pay for itself over the course of its life.
Find out if you have an air conditioner or heat pump. Heat pumps can provide electric heating capabilities in addition to electric cooling. This can make it a great option for those nights when an air conditioner would have to tap into backup heat to keep a home comfortable. Ask your contractor what is popular in your area.
Make sure you ask your contractor whether they register your warranty, or whether it is up to you to register your warranty. Most HVAC manufacturers require product registration for their long parts warranties. It is a simple step, but one that is frequently overlooked.
Are you ready to buy your new air conditioner? Find a qualified local contractor and the rest should be a breeze.